December 17, 2006 MacHeist and whether it is good for small developers. I won't recreate a laundry list of links for you here, if you've missed out just follow this google search. As well, I've already stated my opinions, on Ars Technica, so I'm not going to go over them again here in my little vanity blog.
However, I did want to mention one ironic point that gives me a chuckle. Several of the independent developers who are complaining how unfair MacHeist is treating the software companies that have participated in their bundle seem to be, well, almost disgusted by marketing. Marketing is this nasty thing that lessens the value of whatever it is you're trying to sell.
I, obviously, don't mind marketing, and in fact some might call me (without malice) a marketing whore. This is a difference of opinion, though, and I am not going to try to evangelize my position on this. If you think marketing is dirty, well, ok. Nobody is getting hurt with your opinion, except possibly you. It's not like you're saying, "I think we can't tax oil because grandmothers would freeze in New England," which statement I would feel compelled to refute.
So, the irony here is that EVERYONE is making out like bandits because of this controversy. Every day this week another blog or journal or tech site has written about the controversy, and it makes headlines on the various meta-sites, and more people click through the stories to MacHeist and the individual sites of the various software developers in question, and all of our sales increase. The guys who participated in MacHeist, the guys who objected to it -- we're all getting paid now. And we're getting paid to keep arguing with each other. Seriously, if I were a crasser man (yes, there is a limit, thank you) I would be writing other developers right now, saying, "Ok, now you call me a stupid-face, and then I'll call your mom fat, and then..."
When you're a small developer, eyeballs == sales, because your biggest problem is simply that people haven't heard of you. It really is the case that any publicity is good publicity. I don't care if you came to my site because you heard a rumor that I like to keep a goat and a chicken in my bathroom, you're still going to end up reading about my product, and about one in ten people who read about it try it out. Ka-ching.
Extremely cynical viewers might even assume this entire scandal was cooked up by the indie community as an attention-getting measure. Personally, I doubt the original objectors were that scheming, but I do get a chuckle out of the idea that they have, accidentally and unwittingly, used the basest form of marketing (scandal and controversy) and increased their sales, in their effort to decry the evils of marketing.
Imagine you spotted someone who was yelling in the middle of the street for some damn reason, and you approached them and asked them to keep their voice down in public, and someone else walked by and said, "Good point! Here's $1,000!" With that boost, that vote of confidence, wouldn't you, maybe, start looking for other arguments you could make in public? And if you got paid $1,000 again, don't you think you'd maybe take that positive feedback and eventually spend all your time arguing in public, maybe even standing in the middle of the street yelling?
I wonder if they'll give away this dirty money, or let themselves be infected by it. I'm going to keep it, myself -- I didn't start this argument, I just signed up to be in a bundle I thought would be a lark. But, hey, thanks for the extra customers, guys. If you'd like to debate, say, politics next time, I'll be right here.
PS to other developers: Your mom really is fat. Seriously. She's so fat she has a trash bag for a sock. When she hauls ass it takes two trips. She's so ugly you could press her face in dough and make monster cookies. She's so hairy it looks like she has Don King in a headlock.
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- Part 12: Frozen in Carbonite
- Part 13: The Pimp Before Christmas, Redux
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- Part 15: The Greatest Bug of All
- Part 16: On Heuristics and Human Factors
- Part 17: Lost in Translations